"One Ocean View" Review
By Shawn McKenzie 08/07/2006
Eleven single hot-looking New York City professionals, ranging in ages from 22 to 28, went to Fire Island, in Manhattan, for six weekends in a row, from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July this year. They all live in a time-share beach-house set up by the show’s producers and they are filmed to see what happens when they stop working for a living and start partying for our voyeuristic enjoyment on the weekends. Identical twins Miki and Radha Agrawal own an organic pizza shop called Slice. In the beginning of the first episode, Miki, who acts like the weekend excursions to the beach-house was their idea, does a voiceover introducing the other seven housemates (the other two housemates will be introduced in the second episode.) Mary, who met the twins at their restaurant previously before meeting everyone else on the first weekend, is the founder of a designer handbag company whose heart was broken recently by her ex of three years. Kenneth John “K.J.” Nies, cousin of “Real World” alum Eric Nies, is the owner and operator of two women’s health club franchises and recently ended a five-year relationship with his ex-girlfriend who got pregnant by another man while on vacation. John is a broker for a Wall Street firm and is apparently a “player” with a heart of gold. He hangs around with Usman (pronounced “Ooze-man”), a Wall Street lawyer who is a narcissist and a chauvinist pig. Lisa is a grad school student and an exotic dancer who is apparently shy (even when she dances exotically?) She is staying with her little dog Kiki. Finally, we get to on-again, off-again couple Lauren and Zack. Lauren is junior analyst for a hedge fund, and she is looking for love…which apparently doesn’t include the clueless recruiter/headhunter Zack (though she still seems to go back to him in times of trouble.) She likes K.J….but so does Mary. The entire first episode revolves around this three-way romance (four-way, if you consider that Zack obviously still has feelings for Lauren.) There aren’t really any real subplots going on, other than Usman’s relationship with himself. The end of the episode sets up what will be the show’s first fight. K.J. shows Zack a text message from Lauren in an effort to prove that she is flirting with other guys (or specifically K.J.) Also in the second episode, Heather Lutz, a sales account manager/recruiter who posed naked for Playboy in a pictorial about women who have MySpace accounts, and Anelka, senior account executive for a photography company who quickly hooks up with Usman (ewww!), are introduced into the beach-house.
If that synopsis sounds familiar, it’s not a coincidence. Bunim-Murray Productions, the people behind MTV’s “The Real World,” produced ABC’s “One Ocean View” (which is the name of the show and the address of the beach-house.) The “twist” is that the people in the house only stay for the weekends and then go back to their high-powered jobs back in New York. These singles are slightly older than the usual housemates who have lived in “The Real World” house for the last 17 seasons (their ages on “World” range from 18 to 24…MTV’s target demographic), but they are just as boring. That isn’t a slam on “World” (okay…maybe it is), but the long-running reality show has gotten generic in the last few years. I honestly haven’t liked the show since the Las Vegas season, and I’m afraid that the upcoming season, filmed in my town of Denver, will be just as dull.
Why is “View” so boring? Well…everyone is too pretty. I know…that’s the thing that “World” has done for most of its seasons, but it makes it hard to distinguish between the characters for that reason. If it weren’t for identifiers displayed onscreen, I wouldn’t be able to tell apart K.J., Zack, and John (and you thought that finding differences between the twins would be hard!) Usman is easy to spot, because he is the character who always says rude and degrading things to women…like how they should be the maids for the men and how he hopes that he doesn’t meet any fat women at the local club. After a while, his narrow-minded shtick comes off as phony, because it’s hard to believe that any woman would fall for his bull (and a few of them don’t in the first episode.)
Also, I don’t care about any of the characters. I suppose I should feel bad for Zack…who has been P-whipped by Lauren for years…but I don’t. I don’t know anything about John or Lisa…including her job as an exotic dancer (i.e. stripper.) The show is so focused on the Mary/K.J./Lauren/Zack drama that the others get the short shrift. I suppose we will find out more in future episodes…assuming the show lasts.
Why do I say that? It’s because ABC hasn’t had a successful reality show all summer. The first show, “How to Get the Guy,” was canceled after airing only four of its six episodes (the show wasn’t that bad…but the network’s similar show from last year, “Hooking Up,” was better. Maybe it was the cheesy “Love Doctors.”) “Master of Champions” was canceled with one episode left unaired. Finally, the “American Idol” rip-off “The One: Making a Music Star” was canceled after two weeks, giving the network its worst ratings in its history (I was actually about to finish my review of the show when I heard that it had been canceled. I’m actually surprised that it aired the second week.) Based on the ratings numbers for the first episode of “One Ocean View,” it looks like this will be another failure for the Alphabet network. I guess we’ll have to wait for the new seasons of “Dancing with the Stars” and “Wife Swap” to come back in September (forget about the return of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” because I have never liked that show.)
DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!
Try to catch this show every week...
If a better show is on, tape this one...
If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...
If this show is on, change the channel immediately!